Archive for February, 2012

Love your Customer at First Sight

February 2, 2012

In the meetings and events world we are always looking to improve the onsite experience to make our meeting  better than the last one.   We may ask ourselves what to focus on specifically?  There’s  only one true answer: your customer!.  There are many levels of customers and clients but I am going to discuss what we need to do for our ultimate customers, the attendee.  

Customer service is what comes to mind for most people and we know good and bad service from our own experiences coupled with all the stories we hear from  friends and family.  With this in mind we also know that it takes a remarkable experience to make it memorable, good or bad.  And while the “no news is good news” might have been ok for some in the past; it is not good enough for your next event or meeting.  

So what can we do to make sure that our customers remember us for how well we treat them? Show them the love!  Yes, Love Your Customer.  No tough love here; only the wonderful courtship kind of love.  We need to have love at first sight with our attendees. This means we show them the love at the first encounter and be sure not to stop there. 

So what does it take for them to feel the love?  Like in most courtships it is rarely one single thing or event and instead a culmination of many great things and experiences. So instead of sitting there waiting for the opportunity to do something amazing, it is much more important to hit all of the little things from beginning to end. 

First impressions are called that for a reason as we only get one opportunity to make one.  This makes our front end team, usually a Greeter or Registration staffer, very critical in conveying our love.  As great as everything looks, it is always the human element that ties things together and makes the event memorable.  The smile and warm welcome will only take your front end staffers so far.  It is also critical that they have been trained for this event and can answer basic questions, reinforcing the love and service at the front door. 

For most of us it is pretty easy to come out of the gate strong and give our best welcome.  The challenge is maintaining the level of love and service all the way through to when we say goodbye a few days later.  Your best resource for keeping your team at their best is your management team.  The management team will handle many details for you, but one of the most important is their role as a team cheerleader and morale booster.  We know that recognition or a pat-on-the-back goes a long way toward a staffer’s productivity and happiness.  It is also a great way to show the rest of the staffers how to provide the level of love and service you expect. 

While there are many factors that go into the success of an event and whether your attendee will return next year, showing them the love will help make it memorable.  Showing the love to your attendees just might be that edge that ensures they come back next time, AND tell someone else what a great experience they had at your meeting!